Home Uncategorized ’70s bikes star in single-owner motorcycle auction

’70s bikes star in single-owner motorcycle auction


Bonhams’ sale this past weekend of a single-owner collection of 68 motorcycles generated nearly $1.6 million in sales with a 97 percent sell-through rate. 

Eight of the motorcycles were MV Agustas, and several of the bikes were historically important racers, Bonhams noted in its post-sale news release.

The top-5 sellers were MV Agustas from the 1970s, led by a 1973 497.9cc Grand Prix racer that was among the last of the company’s 3-cylinder 500s and sold for $166,596 at the auction. The bike was a gift from Count Corrado Agusta to former MV racing team mechanic Lucio Castelli. 

Ridden only 41 miles since new, 1978 MV Agusta 750S America nearly cracked 6-figure mark

Nearly reaching six figures was a 1978 MV Agusta 750S America that had been ridden only 41 miles. The bike sold for $98,443.

Among other highlights, Bonhams noted that the 1970s were very popular with bidders. In addition to the top-5 MV Agustas, a 1975  Laverda 750SFC Elettronica brought $54,522 and a 1972 Kawasaki 903cc Z1 sold for $28,775.

A 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc raced in the Isle of Man TT by James Guthrie and Joe Dunphy sold for $68,153 after “a spirited bidding battle” and the ex-Harry Lamacraft 1939 Velocette 348cc KTT Mrk VIII racer brought $66,638.

“We are very pleased with the results of this sale,” Bonhams’ director of motorcycles, Ben Walker, was quoted in the news release. “We offered an incredibly impressive range of machinery, from vintage tourers to ultra-modern superbikes, and nearly every lot found a new owner. 

“The top prices realized indicate that the collectors’ market remains buoyant. This is good news as we head toward our busiest period of the year with our annual Autumn Stafford Sale on the 13th and 14th October and our sale of collectors’ motorcycles at the Barber Museum, Alabama, on the 6th October.”

1939 Velocette 348cc KTT Mrk VIII racer








Top-10 sales, Bonhams Alexandra Palace 2018

  1. 1973 MV Agusta 497.9cc Grand Prix, $166,596
  2. 1978 MV Agusta 750S America, $98,443
  3. 1971 MV Agusta 750S, $89,356
  4. 1978 MV Agusta 861 Magni, $78,754
  5. 1978 MV Agusta 832CC Monza, $75,725
  6. 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc, $68,153
  7. 1939 Velocette 348cc KTT Mark VIII, $66,638
  8. 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Knight, $65,124
  9. 1975 Laverda 750SFC Elettronica, $54,522
  10. 2015 Kawasaki 998cc H2R, $40,134

(Prices include buyer’s fee.)

1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc raced in Isle of Man TT

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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